Sunday, January 16, 2005
So I guess I could write something about today's game.
I guess I could say something about how Gillette seemed to get louder whenever Peyton really needed to get an audible right, and how I was screaming in my room right along with them, like the soundwaves would travel in some special concentrated fashion right through the TV into his goddamn helmet microphone.
I could say something about how the short shot of Troy Brown carefully wiping a clump of impacted turf out of the top of Kevin Faulk's facemask caused me to completely melt in all of 0.3 seconds, and how it was so perfect that I didn't even have to explain to Trevor what I was grinning about.
I could say something about Troy Brown seeming to be in every single play of the first half, and most of the second half, and how did he play that entire game without collapsing from pure exhaustion? How could he be running routes on offense, catching the ball, then going out to bolster the injury-depleted secondary on defense, then returning the ball on special teams? How is that even possible? I could mention the UPS ad that came on during one of the commercial breaks, and how it ended with the now ubiquitous catchphrase, What can Brown do for you? and how I yelled out, "Everything, apparently!" and how this was, and is, so true.
I could say something about how we were all convinced that the weather was going to be perfect and clear today, and the snow that came barreling down, swirling chaotically in the weird drafts created by the stadium bowl, was like some sort of cosmic nod, like someone or something on high was acknowledging that it wouldn't be an Indy/New England playoff game in Foxboro if there wasn't a mess of precipitation clouding the cameras.
I could say something about Corey Dillon taking what should have, by all rights and rules of physics, been a one or two yard gain, and turning it into an 8 or 9 yard gain, or even longer. It wasn't even like there was a hole in the defense, it was like he would spin his back against someone, and strong-arm someone else out of his way, and when he was 15 yards downfield you could look at the defense on slow motion repeat and you still wouldn't see anything like a hole that a 6'1, 225 pound runningback could get through upright and on his feet.
And how just when the Colts had decided that they needed to stop Dillon from running all over them, the ball would be cradled securely in the black-padded elbow crook of Kevin Faulk, where it would take a leaping journey over prone white jerseys and snow-encrusted turf.
I could say something about the crowd jeering the Vanderjerk on his one field goal of the day, and how he had a little smirk on his face afterwards, that pathetic wisp of goatee pushed up by his chinstrap, and how he must have felt after the game, when he realized that those snide 3 points were all that the Colts were going to have that day, and that that easy little kick was his last of the season.
I could say something about Tom Brady throwing the ball to half the offense, and only not giving the other half completions because they were linemen and would have been awfully confused if a football had ended up in their hands. Throwing to Corey Dillon, and David Givens, and Daniel Graham, and Christian Fauria, and Kevin Faulk, and Troy Brown, and Patrick Pass, and who the hell didn't he throw it to? And when he wanted a second touchdown, to put the game securely away, he ran it in himself, spiking the ball in the endzone, just emptying his lungs into the frozen air and pumping his fist so hard to the skies that it popped his shoulder pad a little out of place, like Derek Jeter after a homerun if Derek Jeter was one third the man that Tom Brady is and actually knew how to do a fist pump without making it look, with apologies to my gay friends, totally gay.
I could say something about Tedy Bruschi going in like a bulldog and just taking. the ball. away. Just going in with his arms and his hands and pushing off the ground with whatever part of himself was on the ground to get leverage and taking a big stop and saying, "No. No, I'd like that ball." Rhodes had caught the ball, there was no reason for the Patriots to have it, but Bruschi just went in and took it away and rose up afterwards with the ball in his hand, yelling like a boxer who'd just won the prize fight, and maybe in a way he just had.
I could say something about all the signs that the fans had made, all the clever and mocking signs that football fans usually bring to games, and that dry New England wit fosters so nicely, but how the best one of all was just large black lettering on a white piece of posterboard and how it said, simply and succinctly and perfectly, a handwritten slap in the face of the all-time single-season touchdown leader who would not have a single touchdown today, "YOU CAN'T WIN HERE."
So I guess I could write about all that, but in the end it was one beautiful game with one beautiful final play, and I can say that in one paragraph and a couple of photos.
Because the very last play of the game was a desperate Manning throw to the endzone, which made it to the endzone but directly into the hands of angry, prideful, beautiful Rodney Harrison, and then the ball was going out of the endzone and onto the sideline along with some very happy Patriots and Peyton was doing that weird smiling grimace he does right before he gives it up and lets his whole face collapse, and I was pumping the air and Trevor's shoulders with my Patriots pillow, yelling and yelling and yelling, and it wasn't the 7th game of the ALCS or the 4th game of the World Series, but by god it was good.
By god, it was beautiful.
And you know what, I'll wax lyrical if I fucking want to. Because I did hardly any homework this weekend in the orgy that is playoff football, and I'll be doing it all tomorrow on my day off (thank you Mr. King), and this was a wonderful fucking game against the Indianapolis fucking Colts with their unstoppable fucking offense, and if that isn't reason enough for some florid writing then I don't know what is.